TMZ has just released an audio recording of Lebron James issuing a call to action for the NBA to remove Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in the aftermath of Sterling’s racist, anti-black rant. Bron Bron also hints that Clippers players should protest by sitting out the remainder of the playoffs.
Earlier, a recording captured Sterling allegedly demanding that his girlfriend not “broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” and demanding she “not bring [black people] to my games,” after his girlfriend, who’s black and Hispanic, posted a picture of her and Magic Johnson on Instagram.
In response, Lebron James said if he played for the Los Angeles Clippers, he’d strongly consider sitting out. He also suggests that the league end its association with Donald Sterling:
I kind of wavered back and forth whether I would actually sit out. If our owner would come out and say the things that he said, I would really have to sit down with my teammates, talk to my family because at the end of the day, our family, and our teammates are way more important than that. Basketball is huge, obviously the playoffs have been unbelievable, and I hate the fact that something like this has to come out when the playoffs have been unbelievable and the game of basketball continues to grow, but there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There is no room for him.
King James concluded that the league has “to do something, and do something very fast and quickly before this really gets out of hand.”
Chris Paul, a point guard for the Clippers, is one of Lebron’s best friends.
DeAndre Jordan, starting center for the Clippers, posted an all-black image on Instagram; it’s widely interpreted as a silent protest of Sterling’s horrible comments.
Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, who shares an arena with the clippers, said he wouldn’t play for a team owned by Sterling.
Kendall Marshall, a guard who played for the Lakers this season, took to Twitter to urge his Clippers colleagues to sit out:
— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) April 26, 2014
Former players have also taken a strong stance, including Magic Johnson, who said he’d never attend another Clippers game as long as Sterling was the owner. He called the incident a “black eye” for the NBA. Shaquille O’Neal also sounded off, saying “The league should take a very long, hard look at whether this guy should continue being an owner or not.” James Worthy said “It would be hard for me to play another game for Sterling.”
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took a different stance, tweeting “It’s playoff time, no reason to talk about anything in the NBA that does not relate to our Mavs,” while Micky Arison, owner of the Miami Heat, called Sterling’s statements “offensive, appalling, and very sad.”
The Los Angeles Clippers released a statement suggesting that perhaps the audio was altered (doubtful!), but also apologizing on behalf of Sterling.
No more words need to be spoken; just get that guy Sterling all the way out of here!
The King has spoken (King James, that is), and he’s right–there’s no room for this in the league…or anywhere else.
This is not something that should be taken lightly or swept under the rug by the NBA. This is a time to have an important, game changing dialogue about the state of race relations in “post racial America,” as sadly, there’s obviously no such thing, when such rampant racism goes unchecked.
Here’s to hoping that the NBA takes the trash out–and with it goes Donald Sterling, his racism, white privilege, and his fetishization of women of color.
Hopefully, his black and Latina girlfriend bounces on him too. She’s gorgeous and I’m sure plenty of men will be lining up for a chance to catch that rebound.
Listen…I’m just saying, she could do better…(Drake voice)
No fouls there!
April Dawn (@scarlettsinatra)